Main Article Content
Background: Studies considering the association between adolescents’ risky sexual behaviour and how they perceive themselves to be at risk of HIV infection are scares in Ghana. The study assessed the association between HIV risk perception and risky sexual behaviour among in-school adolescents in a municipality in Ghana.
Method: A cross sectional study was conducted among 706 students, using a questionnaire. Logistic regression analyses were used to assess the association between HIV risk perception and risky sexual behaviour.
Results: Of all the adolescents, 27.7% were sexually active. Among the sexually active, 51.8 % had sexual intercourse below 14 years, 65.4% did not used condom at their last sexual intercourse, and 37.2% had multiple sexual partners. Only 20.5% of the adolescents perceived themselves to be at risk of HIV infection. Being sexually active was independently associated with having HIV risk perception (OR 1.54; 95% CI: 1.03–2.27). Adolescents who had multiple sexual partners were more likely than their counterparts with single sexual partners to perceive themselves to be at risk of HIV infection (AOR 2.39; 95% CI: 1.10 – 5.20). Non-use of condom at least sexual intercourse and early sexual debut were not associated with HIV risk perception.
Conclusion: Except for those with multiple sexual partners, the adolescents generally did not perceive themselves to be at risk of HIV infection despite their involvement in risky sexual behaviour. Interventions that help adolescents to correctly assess their HIV risk perception and build on their susceptibility to HIV infection are needed.
Funding: Personal funding
Keywords: Risky sexual behaviour; HIV risk perception; Adolescents; Association; Ghana